Published: 03-02-2012 00:00 | Updated: 19-06-2014 15:56

AstraZeneca's cutbacks in Södertälje a hard blow to medical research in Sweden

Karolinska Institutet's president, Professor Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, comments on AstraZeneca's announcement that it will be closing its research facilities in Södertälje.

"This is a serious blow to medical research and drug development in Sweden," she says.

"The loss of so much research from Sweden severely undermines our competitiveness in the medical field and will eventually have a profound impact on the nation's economy."

"It is vital that the medical research done at Karolinska Institutet operates hand in hand with the pharmaceutical industry if Sweden is to continue as a leading actor in the improvement of human health."

"Karolinska Institutet goes to great lengths to promote collaboration with industry. We've enjoyed much collaboration with AstraZeneca over the years, and the fact that they're now to close down so much of their research is a major cause for concern."

"The human capital that has been invested in Södertälje must be saved. The employees there are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable. I have called my management to a meeting to analyse what this implies and to work out what Karolinska Institutet can do to help to save Swedish medical research."

"I am also hopeful that in consultation with the government and other parties we can resolve the problem and find ways to ensure that the former Södertälje-based operations can continue under new management or in another form."